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Discussion Starter #1
Maybe this is a dumb question, maybe it is not so please don't slaughter me if it is. The flies are out of control here this season, more so than I ever remember. We currently use a fly spray for our horses (not sure of the brand will have to check in the a.m.) and it seems to do NOTHING for them. Other than fly sheets does anyone have any type of remedies for these flying satans? I am all ears on this one!
 

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Ugh flies and ticks are horrible here too. I heard Garlic is supposed to help with flies and ticks. I haven't tried it yet but I plan too. =)
 

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Fly predators or Simplifly work well, but best to start that before there is a problem.
 

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I second fly predators, plus baited traps for the flies that the predators don't handle.

You need a 2 to 3 pronged approach in order for fly management to be successful.
 

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We used fly predators last year and were very pleased with the results. Increased the order this year but we are still having huge amounts of flies thanks to the neighbors.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
We thought we had got the girls protected in time but this year is just insane. I'll look into fly predators. Can anyone tell me what exactly they are?
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I second (third?) the fly predators - though I have never used them myself, I have heard nothing but good things about them. Those wasps are great and envirnmentally friendly!

The stable I am at uses chickens. Yup chickens. Now, we are in an area that is not really prone to flies, but a dozen free wandering chickens keep the what few flies we have down to almost none. (15 horses at the stable - and we are still gripped in winter, 50 degrees durign the day, low 40s to high 30s at night, rain almost every day. Summer is coming soon, right?)

Also, find an Avon dealer (I can get you in touch with mine if you want) and buy Skin So Soft. It is a human product, I don't know what it is supposed to do for people, but I have had two vets recommend it as a fly cream. I am picking up my order this weekend.

Another trick I use, is that I will wash the horse, then use about three or four ounces of conditioner fully disolved in a gallon of water, then use a sponge and wipe the whole horse down with this mixture. Keep them tied until it dries. There is something about the perfume in most conditioners that flies HATE. My mother used to do this for her dairy cow who couldn't be fly sprayed or risk those chemicals in the milk. It has never failed me.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks yadlim, I have a local avon rep who bombards me everyday I go into work and have stacks of the catalogues. Gives me a reason to tell my boyfriend I want Avon :). Will any particular conditioner work? What I have is herbal essence (smells wonderful) and some suave stuff that smells more like cocoa butter.
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That's interesting about the conditioner, yadlim. Any particular type?
I have found that human conditioner has more perfume and lasts longer, but Mane and Tail is what I usually use.

I have used Herbal Essance, and it worked great. I always go with cheap and yes, I have used suave and it worked too!
 

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During the day when the flies are at their worst, allow your horses to remain inside. Cover all windows and doorways to make it as dark as possible. Flies don't like dark. Mine go in before 9am and will not emerge until almost dark. I hang a couple of small mesh nets packed with hay ( one for each horse) before noon and they last until about 5. I also hang a food grade timed sprayer up high. This works as the horses maintain good weight. I'd rather spend my money on hay than the chemicals in the spray. I do spray them for the farrier or if working with one but that's not a daily occurance.
 

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I like the use of predators first and foremost. My old stable used them and they barely ha a problem. My current stable doesn't but I may have him talked into it as they aren't that expensive and they aren't hard to use.

Cinny, is black and is a fly magnet! I red a study in Eqqus last year where they determined that the darker the horse, the more drawn to them the flys are. It was really intersting. Last year, fly sprays worked on him for maybe 30 minutes. They had auto fly spray in the stalls and I always thought his didn't work because there wouldn't be any flys in the other horse's stalls, but Cinny would have about 50 buzzing around him :(

This year I tried Smart Bug Off from SmartPak. I rarely even have to use fly spray on him anymore. It's so nice for him not to have the issue this year and it doesn't really cost that much. Fly sheets get ripped up in turnout so it would actually cost me more for fly sheets than for the daily smartpak of this stuff, plus I'm spending about 1/3 of the money on fly spray that I did last summer.
 

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Too right Cinny, my dark bay is getting eaten ALIVE by the stupid gnats. The grey isn't touched.

I use Farnams roll on for the really picked on spots, kicks the gnats butts.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Strange, our Palominos are being eaten alive and my bay paint barely has any. Now this might be a "special" question but we are getting ready to move (we close on the 31st). Is it worth it to try and use fly predators at our current house or wait to use them when we move to the new homestead? I only ask because I saw in reviews that you have to wait for the predators to hatch and I am not sure with shipping and hatching if maybe a week or so of them here it would be worth it.
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I saw mention of traps, just an FYI, those bait traps dont work, well you will see them fill up with flies, but they arnt the type of flies that bite. They are the typical flies that hang around garbage, the lures do a good job of luring flies in that wouldnt be their to begin with if not for the scented lures.

You want to look for the biting fly traps, these are usually reflective, with black on them to heat up a bit higher than ambiant and have a sticky surface. They are put up low to the ground, like horse ankle high.

But yep they are bad this year. I never had large horse flies this early. FLie management is a multipronged approach.
Step 1 Manure management. You cant have breeding grounds left lieing all over the ground or in a pile. I feed textured feed and the chickens scatter the manure everywhere as soon as it hits the ground. But one way or another you gotta get it spread out and dried weekly.
Step 2 larvae management. Pass through controls, fly predators, (which may be mutually exclusive)
Step 3 adult management. Proper fly traps that target the types of flies you want to get rid of. Area pesticides. (again maybe not good to combine with chickens or predators)
Step 4 Horse protection, Indoor dark ventilated shelters, fly spray, fly sheets, leg wraps. bout it that I can come up with.
 

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Website for Fly Predators

https://www.spalding-labs.com/
3rd year for me. I live in a tiny town of 200 and HAVE to keep my flies down.
Also, I use RepelX and I've even used vinegar. Bathe your horses after a hard workout, and use horse shampoo with some water to groom saddle and bridle areas AND their legs after light workouts, so they attract fewer flies.
Do EVERYTHING you can to remove anything that attracts flies, and remove all standing and pooling water that you can.
There you have it--successful way to keep the flies down!
 

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NEEM OIL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Get some pure Neem Oil off the Internet. It will be solid in the container so stand in hot water until enough has become liquid.

Use 5 ml of Neem, 3 ml of liquid soap/shampoo and add 1 litre of hot water.
Mix together and apply with a sponge to the horse.

It keeps flies and ticks away, also fleas on the dogs, and slugs, snails and aphids off plants.

It also helps to alleviate itching.

Wonderful stuff, as you use so little it last for ages because it stays on the animal for at least two weeks.

The only downer is that it hasn't the nicest of smells but you get use to it and it does fade after a couple of hours.

By far the cheapest and most effective fly deterrent I have ever come across.
 
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